Best interviews 2016: Illustration, typography, UX design & more

We found out what it’s like to work as a designer at Airbnb, how to choose the perfect typeface, how to create simple yet clever infographics and why Bob and Roberta thinks the tories are killing art design in schools. 

The creative industry boasts an array of talented, interesting and passionate personalities. Whether their area of expertise is doodlebombing, infographics or art education,w e guarantee you’ll learn a lot from these interviews we’re especially proud of.

Hattie Stewart: Illustrator

Hattie is best known for doodlebombs, where she draws primary colour characters and icongraphy over fashion photography and magazine covers – but she also produces pure illustration pieces, 32 of which have been collected in her first book, Living With Hattie Stewart

Before the launch of the book, Digital Arts editor Neil Bennett caught up with Hattie to discover how she imbues her work with such a sense of fun (with an occasional satirical bite) and how her doodlebombs have evolved from drawing on magazine covers to create artworks to being commissioned to bomb them for real newsstand covers. 

Watch the full interview here.

Areim Anthony: Airbnb production design manager


Airbnb is a company that places a lot of stock in design. Its design team has tripled in size over the last 15 months and has a widely read blog.  

But what is it like to work as a designer at Airbnb? At the Adobe Max conference in San Diego, Digital Arts editor Neil Bennett sat down with Airbnb's production design manager, Ariem Anthony, to find out.

Read the full interview here.

David Silverman: Original The Simpsons animator


David attended a group interview with journalists at Adobe Max where he told us well-honed stories from his career – and dispensed some advice for artists and animators.

Before becoming an animator, David studied architecture – which he credits with helping him lay-out the space of the scenes in his work from perspective to composition. 

Read about David Silverman here.

Nina Stossinger: Type designer

Nina knows about type both as a user and a creator – she started her career as a graphic designer in Germany, before studying type design in Zurich and the Netherlands, founding her own type design studio Typologic and then moving to the US to work for Frere-Jones Type as a senior type designer - where she's contributed to typefaces such as the small-size-focussed Retina

Digital Arts editor Neil Bennett caught up with her to try to discuss the core struggle with typography between being easy to read and having character that adds 'flavour' to text. 

Read her advice here.

Simon Stalenhag: Artist


Even by the usual dark standards of dystopian futures, things have fallen apart in Simon’s illustrations. Perhaps aliens have invaded – but whatever new world order they've established has surely crumbled into puporseless disarray.

As his new books appear on Amazon, Digital Arts editor Neil Bennett spoke to Simon to learn more about his art – and him as an artist – and between summer breaks I asked him about his influences, his approach to art and just what the hell is going on in his paintings. 

Read the interview here.

Mona Chalabi: Data editor of The Guardian

Mona Chalabi’s straightforward, funny yet effective data sketches have been shortlisted for this year’s Information is Beautiful awards.

Mona has a passion to make numbers and statistics more relatable and understandable, and she doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable topics. Her simple interpretations of information are a refreshing take on a sector often left for the intellectually elite.  

Digital Arts staff writer Miriam Harris spoke to Mona about her frustrations of analysing large data sets that didn’t resonate with the public, why simplifying data is so important and the creative process behind her data sketches.

Read the full interview here

Andy Budd: UX in 2016

His Brighton-based digital agency Clearleft has produced sites for the likes of Penguin and Channel 4 – and put on the recent UX London conference (with another conference called Leading Design launching next month). 

Between the two conferences, I caught up with Andy to talk about the biggest trends in UX in 2016. 

Andy discusses what UX really means, a talent gap in the UX industry, and an array of helpful online resources. 

Watch the full interview here

ustwo: 5 ways to improve diversity 

Whitney Berry from digital agency ustwo tells us what they're doing to make both their workplace and their work more inclusive. 

She says having a team with different perspectives, points of view, different backgrounds and styles, ultimately results in better products with better experiences for the end user.

Read her five practical ways to improve diversity and eliminate unconscious discrimination in design studios.

Nadine Chahine: Type Designer


Lebanon-born, then-Germany-based designer Nadine Chahine discusses the how type is best made readable across devices from the 27-inch 5K iMac to the smartwatch.

Nadine talked about how to use type differently based on the content – which can range from glance-legible app notifications to long-form stories from newspaper websites or Medium that you want to read on your smartphone.

Watch the full interview here

Bob and Roberta Smith: Arts education

Artist Bob and Roberta Smith – born Patrick Brill – spoke his thoughts on why the government is denigrating arts education, why it’s important and what you can do about it.

He has based a good proportion of his work around drawing attention to the damage that the current Conservative government (and the coalition than preceded it) is doing to the teaching of art in schools.

Read the full interview here.

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